is a classically trained, eclectically inclined musician with an infectious energy, a sumptuous sound, and a maverick spirit. He is accomplished and acclaimed internationally as a recording artist, composer, educator, conductor, and performer.
His seven solo recordings have received rave reviews. He's appeared on many other artists' albums, performing in a wide variety of genres - jazz, pop, rock, country western and new age. Among the notables with whom Darling has performed and collaborated are Bobby McFerrin; Peter, Paul, and Mary; the members of Oregon; Paul Winter, Spyro Gyra; Terje Rypdal; Jan Garbarek; the innovative dance ensemble Pilobolus; Ketil Bjornstad and Joseph Campbell.
Among Darling's film credits are his contributions to the movies "Until the End of the World" and "Far Away, So Close" by Wim Wenders as well as "Nouvelle Vague" and "Heat."
David Darling's 1992 CD "Cello" on ECM features multi-layered voices of acoustic and electric cello and combines the spirit of "Adagio" classical music with the floating quality of Gregorian chant. Included among his many other ECM recordings are the solo release "Dark Wood" and collaborations "The Sea" with Ketil Bjornstad, Terje Rypdal, and Jon Christiansen, and "Window Steps" with Pierre Favre.
Darling's solo recordings have met with extremely positive press reactions. "David Darling produces a ravishing cello sound," Gramophone enthuse, "creating sounds to be lived with rather than merely listened to... The result is haunting and seductive." Down Beat, meanwhile, noted that "Darling's range of stylistic evocations moves from early music to ethereal, swarthy impressionism to folk sonorities... All is dark and wintry but somehow transcendent." Cello was listed amongst Die Zeit's albums of the year for 1993.
"His music is emerald fire on a midnight sea, an arctic exhalation amidst stifling summer heat, a northwest wind driving out a confusion of fog. It is archaic, intense and yet almost always calming. And thus far it has not ceased to carry me wherever it travels, however mysterious such places might be".
David Darling was born in Elkhart, Indiana in 1941. He was tutored on piano from the age of four and began to study cello at ten. In his teenage years he led his own ensembles, in which he played bass and alto saxophone. While at Indiana State College he began to consider the potential of the cello in improvised music.
Darling has developed his particular style by incorporating a solid bodied eight-string electric cello and introducing electronic effects into his playing, using digital delay and other processing devices. His solo music is a seamless synthesis of contemporary Classical, atmospheric Jazz and contemplative New Age.
For many years, Darling has dedicated himself to a solo performing and recording career and to teaching music and improvisation. In 1986 he co-founded Music for People, a non-profit educational, network that teaches and fosters improvisation as a means of creative self expression. For the past 15 years, Darling has also enriched the lives of thousands of young people through in-school programs by his work with Young Audiences, Inc.. Darling is also a frequent contributor to the Music in Healing program at Immaculata College.
“David Darling played the cello the way Georgia O’Keefe painted mountains; decisive, delicate and dedicated to his truth. He could play joy and grief at the same time, the way they occur in life.” - Kate Munger